Publication Date: 6th January 2022
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Holly Hepburn’s latest novel, The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures.
When Hope loses her husband, she fears her happiest days are behind her. With her only connection to London broken, she moves home to York to be near her family and to begin to build a new life.
Taking a job at the antique shop she has always admired, she finds herself crossing paths with two very different men. Will, who has recently become the guardian to his niece after the tragic death of her parents. And Ciaran, who she enlists to help solve the mystery of an Egyptian antique. Two men who represent two different happy endings.
But can she trust herself to choose the right man? And will that bring her everything she really needs?
I do love Holly’s writing and this new novel is no disappointment. I think I read the entire book in just one day! I should point out that this was originally published as a series of novellas, which is why the beginning of each section reiterates some information (i.e. using the characters full names and giving a bit of a recap as to what occurred in the previous section).
Hope Henderson has just returned to York after the loss of her husband. Walking through the city one day, she passes The Ever After Emporium, a shop that always fascinated her as a child, and she finds herself once again drawn to the Aladdin’s cave of treasures inside. A job advert seems like fate and she finds herself starting work at the Emporium – the first step to rebuilding her life.
The story then continues in two main threads – the first being the discovery of an old Egyptian-style ring in a puzzle box. Part of Hope’s training is to uncover the story behind the item. This leads to a meeting with the elderly Isobel Lovelace and the charming Professor of Egyptology, Ciaran McCormack, leading them on a journey from the medieval streets of York to the sand-covered pyramids of Egypt.
York really is the perfect setting for an old antique/curiousity shop. I could picture Hope and her friends strolling through the medieval Shambles, amongst the centuries-old buildings. I have never visited there myself, although it does top my list of places in the UK to visit, and this book makes me think that this may be the year I actually make it there.
The second threat is Hope’s budding relationship with local jeweller, Will, and his young niece Brodie. Brodies parents were tragically killed, leaving Brodie in the care of Will. Brodie is a bright little thing but has not spoken since that terrible day. Can Hope help to bring Brodie out of her shell? Can they help each other to look forward to the next stage in their lives? And, what about handsome and dependable Will? He’s so different from the exciting and charming Ciaran, and Hope finds herself caught between the two. Is she ready to jump into a new relationship and, if so, which of the very different men will she choose?
The characters are great – well-drawn, realistic and very relatable. I enjoyed taking a peak at Hope’s friendships with her sister Charlotte and the florist, Iris (a very fitting name for a florist!), both of which brought a real splash of humour to the book. I also enjoyed the scenes with the prickly Isobel – now there’s someone who needs to let her barriers down a bit.
The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures may contain elements of grief, sadness and hurt, it is ultimately a very charming and uplifting book, full of hope, love and friendship. It really is wonderfully written, Holly has a great writing style that draws the reader straight into the page. It really was an absolute delight to read.
Thank you so much to Harriet Collins at Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of the book and for inviting me to join this fabulous blog tour. If you want to catch up with the other stops on the blog tour, take a look below:
Holly Hepburn is the much-loved author of commercial women’s fiction. She lives near London with her grey tabby cat, Portia. They both have an unhealthy obsession with Marmite. Follow Holly on Twitter @HollyH_Author.